By Emma Una – Calabar
Retired policemen and women on the Contributory Pension Scheme, CPS, on Monday afternoon carried placards round major streets in Calabar to protest over the paltry sum paid to them on retirement and monthly as pension.’
The retired police personnel called on President Mohammadu Buhari to direct the Pencom officials to comply with the provisions of the 2004 law that established the scheme as it concerns the welfare of retired police officers.
The aggrieved retirees carrying placards with messages like : “FGN,:exempt police retirees from Pencom”, “what a pity, after 35 years, I cannot have a shelter of my own”, “Police pay police their promotion arrears” among others went round major streets in the city to display the agony of their situation
Mr Christopher Effiong, who spoke to Vanguard on behalf of his colleagues regretted that the National Pension Commission, in collusion with the Nigeria Police Force, NPF, has refused to see to the improvement of the welfare of police retirees.
He stated that the Pension Reform Act 2004 did not take into consideration those who had been in public service under the Defined Benefits Scheme leading to police who were operating DBS to be shortchanged which contravenes provisions of Section 173(2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999(as amended).
Also, he said, “the amount of money paid to retired police officers as a lump sum on retirement and monthly pension is too low which is grossly calculated to eliminate those who have spent their youthful energy to serve this country”.
He said they worked under hazardous conditions and on retirement, a superintendent of Police is paid a paltry sum of Three million naira as lump sum after 35 years, and N45,000 monthly as pension while army Major or a DSS equivalent collects N10 million as gratuity and a monthly pension of about N200, 000.
Effiong said that “the reality in Nigeria is that the Police suffer the highest death toll as the leading internal security agency in this country and should not be treated with this level of neglect and disdain.
“This treatment is already affecting the morale of some serving members, adding that “scores of our retirees die every year”.
He also called on the police authority to implement the 2017 and 2018 arrears of promotion of retirees as contained in the IGP’s letter: No. SH. 4730/FS/FHQ/ABJ/VOL.4/327 dated 28/02/2017.
He called on Mr President to come to their aid by directing the payment of retirement benefits, promotion arrears, housing fund as well as the Fokas Shares to those who contributed to the fund.